For the dough: Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of the flour and raisins. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. (Note: The dough is easier to work with if it has been chilled for at least an hour or so beforehand but not necessary.)
To assemble the bunny rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.
To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly. Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter.
Now, cut the dough into ¼-½ inch strips width side. Take the thicker strips and started rolling from the top to make a cinnamon roll shape. Take the thinner strips, cut them in half, then fold them in half and shape them into the bunny ears. Attach them with a dab of butter to the cinnamon roll.
One “rectangle“ will produce 10-12 bunnies. Place bunnies on parchment paper on a sheet pan or baking sheet leaving enough room to not touch each other. These will rise in the oven.
Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough. Preheat the oven to 375˚. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more sugar, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick to easily ice the bunnies.
Remove the pans from the oven. This is where you can get creative! Immediately drizzle icing over the bunnies to create a modern look or ice the ears and body to be decorated with Sun-Maid raisins and sprinkles. Have fun with it!
I love this recipe for year-round but making them themed during the holidays is always a win with my kids!